Upper Limbs Interactive Learning Objects

Publication ID Published Volume
7879 October 27, 2010 6


This resource is comprised of Flash learning modules related to upper limb anatomy. Anatomical structured covered in this resource include the upper arm, the upper back, the cubital fossa, forearm, hand, rotator cuff, and the scapular-humeral mechanism. An upper-limbs case study is also provided.

The use of Flash files allows for a high level of learner interaction with the content. For example, several drag-and-drop learning objects require learners to identify anatomical structures on line drawings. Checkboxes with structure names require learners to cognitively process the information provided in order to identify the correct anatomical structure. Correct/Incorrect feedback is provided to the learner upon selection of a structure. While utilizing this resource, students are challenged to choose a correct answer, which elicits cognitive processing of the subject matter which simulates the cognitive processing that occurs in the cadaver lab.

The feedback students receive while working with this resource completes the interaction loop. For the module to be truly interactive in the educational context, it needs to both challenge learners to cognitively process basic science information in order to make a decision, and provide immediate feedback about that decision. The Adobe Flash plug-in was chosen as the deployment tool because it was ubiquitous across computer platforms, suitable for the development task, and the necessary expertise was available. The intended audience for this resource is instructors and students in premedical, predental, nursing, and other health care-related curricula. Although no formal study of effectiveness has been conducted, anecdotal evidence indicates that students value and appreciate the interactive learning modules.


Walker E, Allen E, Kraszpulska B, Billings H. Upper limbs interactive learning objects. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2010;6:7879. http://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.7879

Educational Objectives

At the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  1. Identify structures of the upper-limb appendicular skeleton.
  2. Recognize the compartments of arm, forearm, and hand.
  3. Become familiar with the major muscles, nerves, arteries, and veins in each module.
  4. Have a working knowledge of the synovial joints- shoulder, elbow, and wrist.


  • Computer-Assisted Instruction, Upper Extremity, Cadaver

Prior Scholarly Dissemination


  1. Health Sciences E-Education: Teaching Virtual Anatomy Labs. Elizabeth Walker, Barbara Kraszpulska, Edwin Allen, and Aurelio Gomes. Peer reviewed and presented at the Fourth Pan Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning, Oct.30 - Nov. 3, 2006 in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
  2. Virtual Anatomy Labs for Pre-Professional Health Sciences Students. E.R.Walker, B.Kraszpulska, J.Altemus, E.Allen, P.Klinkhachorn, H.Ressetar, W. Beresford. Poster presented at the American Association of Anatomists, April, 2007 Washington DC.

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ISSN 2374-8265